#NotJustaTeacher – I’m a student!

This challenge was inspired by JosetteLeBlanc’s post “You’re“just” an English teacher” which I saw uploaded on FB earlier today by Anna Loseva. It immediately made me think of how many misconceptions there are regarding our role and contribution to our students’ lives. It also however gave life to an idea. What would fellow educators-bloggers have to say on the matter? What personal stories would they share on the many characteristics and roles they carry which make them so much more than simply teachers?
With these questions in mind, I’d like to start this “cycle of trust” by talking about the first word that came to my mind when I read the post. The word was “student”. I am and I always try to be a student, a person learning from my kids, my classes all the time. It’s a process I encourage in my lessons too since I often have “Open Talent” days or activities where students get the chance to talk about their hobbies-interests or what makes them special. That’s how I learned that Sasquatch isn’t only another word for Bigfoot, but also the name of a music festival as well as a type of yoyo, that Kendama is a Japanese game, lots of things about new artists like Elyar Fox and 5SOS as well as all about the latest books and films.
Many people might see these pieces of information as utterly trivial. What they seem to overlook though is that these seemingly irrelevant “bits and pieces” constitute the largest part of our students’ lives. It’s what they breathe in and what keeps them going through demanding days at school and home.
It’s not their hobbies alone though that excite the learner inside me. I’m also a student because I learn from the skills my students already master. They are entitled to time and space to talk about their talents and accomplishments in music, sports etc. and I respect their values, strengths and weaknesses. It was a process that I used to fear in the past, especially during the first years of my teaching life, since it deprived me from the privilege of being the only authority in class. I now acknowledge my role as an educator, but I also see the educators they are in so many other fields that I am clueless about.
So, over to you now! Why aren’t you just a teacher?

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